Dec. 7, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Queens Assembly Member David Weprin has announced that he is running for City Comptroller and vows to steer the city through the economic crisis without hurting everyday New Yorkers.
The northeast Queens lawmaker made the announcement Sunday and said the city’s budget would not be balanced on the backs of seniors, working and middle-class families under his watch.
Weprin said he would build more affordable housing, scrutinize the New York City Housing Authority, fix the MTA’s finances, and protect pensions if elected as the city’s top fiscal watchdog.
“We have not reached the end of the public health crisis created by COVID-19,” Weprin said in a statement. “When we do, the economic damage will be like nothing the City has ever seen before.”
Weprin touted his tenure as Chair of the City Council’s Finance Committee during both the post-9/11 recession and the 2008 recession as the cornerstone of his campaign. He has also served as the Deputy Superintendent of Banks and Secretary of the Banking Board for New York State.
“As the only candidate with the experience we need…, I will deliver meaningful results to protect New Yorkers,” Weprin said.
Weprin said he would fight to build more affordable housing by using the city’s $229 billion investment portfolio to partner with the private sector. He said that this would incentivize the construction of affordable housing that would otherwise be unprofitable to build.
He also pledged to help small businesses grow by eliminating stifling fees, fines and regulations; create a new task force to examine underserved New Yorkers access to capital; and implement climate change mitigation policies.
He affirmed that audits and investigations into NYCHA would continue in order to safeguard the health of residents and to ensure public funds are being spent properly.
Weprin said that he would help get the MTA’s finances in order while also fight for more public transportation. The agency has threatened to slash subway and bus service by 40 percent if it doesn’t receive a bailout from the federal government.
The MTA is a state agency but Weprin said that he would use his bully pulpit to put pressure on its management.
Weprin has represented Assembly District 24 since 2010 which covers Richmond Hill, Briarwood, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica Estates, Oakland Gardens and Glen Oaks.
He is the only candidate from Queens currently running in the race and has already picked up several endorsements from Queens elected officials. These include: Congressman Tom Suozzi; Queens Assembly Members Catherine Nolan, Jeffrion Aubry, Vivian Cook and Michael DenDekker; Assembly Member-Elect Jenifer Rajkumar; Council Members Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz and Barry Grodenchik; as well as former New York State Attorney General Oliver Koppell.
Weprin has also received the backing of the New York State Court Officers Association.
He will face off against State Senators Brian Benjamin and Kevin Parker as well as Brad Lander, a Brooklyn council member.